A man who claimed he had a bomb in his possession was arrested after he climbed the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier early Monday afternoon, the New York Post reported. The pier was promptly evacuated by officers after the man told riders that he had a bomb in his backpack. A crisis negotiation team also reached the scene attempting to talk to the suspect as he was spotted hanging on the middle spokes of the Ferris Wheel.
As per NBC Los Angeles, the suspect was perched near the center of the 130-foot-tall Ferris wheel before finally coming down shortly before 4:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the riders were rescued by a Santa Monica Fire Department cherry picker truck.
‘The #SantaMonica Pier is closed for police activity. We have a subject who has climbed onto the Ferris Wheel. The subject was heard by witnesses saying he had a bomb. Our officers are currently evacuating Pacific Park and the Pier and our Crisis Negotiation Team is contacting the subject who appears to be in crisis. Further updates will be provided via SMPD social media channels,” Santa Monica police wrote on X.
The #SantaMonica Pier is closed for police activity. We have a subject who has climbed onto the Ferris Wheel. The subject was heard by witnesses saying he has a bomb. Our officers are currently evacuating Pacific Park and the Pier and our Crisis Negotiation Team is contacting… pic.twitter.com/UTkRVhlcTo
— Santa Monica Police (@SantaMonicaPD) October 9, 2023
The man was taken into custody after climbing down from the Ferris wheel. However, no bomb was found on him.
”Thank you for your patience. The subject is in custody and no bomb or incendiary device was located. Additional information will be provided once the Pier has been reopened,” Santa Police later tweeted.
The pier and Pacific Park have ”reopened to visitors upon receiving an all-clear status” from police after “guest and employee evacuation procedures were initiated due to an unknown individual in a restricted area at the Ferris wheel,” park spokesperson Cameron Andrews said in a statement Monday evening. The park thanked the police ”for their speedy response, direction, and leadership.”
Police told KTLA that the man appeared to be suffering from some type of mental health crisis, and at this point, they didn’t believe a crime had been committed.
No injuries to any member of public has been reported.